The Cost of Rebuilding the 6 Million Dollar Man

The Cost of Rebuilding the 6 Million Dollar Man

September 21, 2021
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When I was just a wee lad growing up in the 70’s one of my favorite shows was “The Six Million Dollar Man”.   The character, Steve Austin (played by Lee Majors), was an astronaut that had crash landed and woke up to find that he had been transplanted with two bionic legs, one bionic arm, and a bionic eye.  The weekly drubbings he gave the bad guys captured my youthful imagination.  I loved the chintzy sounds that they played when showing him running, jumping, tossing the bad guys across the rooms or seeing very far off into the distance.   Great Stuff!   The show debuted on March 7th 1973 and ran for 5 glorious seasons.   By the end, the show had jumped the shark and he was fighting big-foot.  (I digress)

I’m going to break down his features as follows:

Each leg approx. 2M

The arm approx. 1.5M

The eye approx. .5M

In today’s dollars, Mr. Austin’s new look would cost quite a bit more.  If we took the rate of healthcare inflation from 1973 into consideration, his new bionics would top the scale at over 81M…that’s right folks 81M.  What would be the discussion now between his boss Oscar played by Richard Anderson to the budget committee of the secret US gov’t office OSI that they belonged to.

“You’re asking for 81M to fix Steve up with 2 new legs, one arm and one eye.”  Are you out of your mind?  Seriously, are you out of your mind?

I could see Oscar doing a pretty quick back pedal on this one and trying to salvage just the eye for (6.75M)

48 years of medical inflation will do that to the OSI’s budget.  At least they are gov’t and probably can fight for those funds from the DOD.  We may not be so lucky.   Today in the US, the average person spends approx. 18 years in retirement.  With life expectancy increases, that average may be up to 3 years higher by 2030.

Current healthcare outlays over that period of time will most likely be the largest expenses one sees during retirement.  **Medical Care inflation has averaged 4.69%/year since 1935.  The one thing we can be sure of is that the cost of care will probably continue to rise in the for-seeable future.   Are healthcare costs included in your financial plan?   Do you feel comfortable with your current insurance coverage and choices?  If not, this should be an item for review at your next meeting and we welcome the opportunity to discuss. 

Until then, stay healthy.



**2021 Official Data Foundation/Alioth LLC 

CRPC conferred by College for Financial Planning.